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October 15, 2009

Shorties (Michael Jackson's Graphic Novel, Jonathan Lethem, and more)

Publishers Weekly has news of a soon to be published graphic novel penned by Michael Jackson.

One book generating lots of conversation is a graphic novel project by the King of Pop. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently Michael Jackson was working on a comic book for years with friend (and son of Deepak) Gotham Chopra and now Random House’s Villard imprint is prepping to release the fruits of this seemingly unlikely collaboration. The book, Fated, is about a Jackson-esque pop icon named Gabriel Star whose fame has left him isolated and emotionally cut-off. After a suicidal swan dive from his hotel one night, Star survives only to see his celebrity grow and discover that he’s becoming, per the publisher, “something not quite human.” No word yet from Random House on foreign sales, but we hear the house is showing bits of the book to foreign houses. The title’s slated for a June 2010 hardcover U.S. release—the art’s black and white and the book is small format—and Mukesh Singh is illustrating.

The Criterion Collection interviews Jonathan Lethem about his new novel, Chronic City.

Lethem talks to the Brooklyn Rail about the book.

The Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal review Chronic City.

The Barnes & Noble Review reviews the novel.

Minnesota Daily interviews Grant Hart.

In retrospect, how well do you feel the written legacies of Husker Du and The Replacements — the most famous Minneapolis bands — holds up to what happened on the ground?

I feel they’re fairly accurate. I think any time that any attention is focused on the most of something, in this case the most famous or most influential … I think really part of the thing with those two bands is, Husker Du and The Replacements aren’t famous or influential; we’re famous for being influential.

The Burlington Free Press interviews the members of Drug Rug.

BFP: Drug Rug’s sound is a dichotomous blend of that earthy, hippie vibe with an urban Velvet Underground feel. Is that an intentional hybrid sound you’re aiming for or just a natural result of your musical influences?

SC: It’s hard to say because both me and Tommy, my boyfriend who’s in the band, both love the same music, The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney and all that kind of stuff. He grew up in Dorchester, so maybe that’s where that urban influence came from. We hear that Velvet Underground thing a lot, and I’m sure that colors it. We just kind of try to make music that we like to hear. Whatever comes out comes out.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiles singer-songwriter Emily Rodgers.

"Bright Day" turns out to be a sadly twisted title for this often heart-wrenching record, which tries to find the light in the face of early mortality and the spectre of madness. It's dedicated to her brother Daniel, who died three years ago at the age of 22. "It really is a lot of what the record is about," she says, and we pick that up in lines such as "The sky has opened up and carried him away."

Unabashedly Bookish interviews author Matthew Quick.

Soldout is a music blog exploring both music and writing about music.

The Nevada Union profiles singer-songwriter-drummer Neal Morgan.

For the one-time local musician Neal Morgan, drumming while singing or vice versa comes naturally. Best known as Joanna Newsom's barefoot drummer, Morgan recently released his debut album “To the Breathing World” on Drag City. Comprised of just Morgan's free form drumming and ingenuous voice, the record is both a manifesto and a love letter to the world. It's also one of the most raw and personal glimpses of an artist coming into his own.

The Montreal Gazette reviews Michael Chabon's new essay collection, Manhood for Amateurs.

Chabon talks to the Denver Post and the Kansas City Star about the book.

Nerd World lists similarities between the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV and Thomas Pynchon's novel, Inherent Vice.

Flavorwire interviews author Lydia Millet about her first collection of short stories, Love in Infant Monkeys.

A.V. Club Madison interviews Lorrie Moore about her new novel, A Gate at the Stairs.

Tor is serializing J.C. Hutchins' new science fiction novel, 7th Son.

Drowned in Sound interviews Mudhoney's Mark Arm.

Singer-songwriter Nellie McKay discusses her new album, Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day, with the Huffington Post.

Allmusic writers select the best albums and singles of 2005.

NPR is streaming the new album by The Swell Season, Strict Joy (out October 27th), in its entirety.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian profiles indie music label Anticon.

The finalists for the 2009 National Book Awards have been named. Congratulations to Largehearted Boy Book Notes contributor David Small, who was is a finalist for young people's literature with his graphic memoir, Stitches.

NPR is streaming Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar's new album, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur (out October 20th), in its entirety.

Current contests at Largehearted Boy:

Win James Ellroy's new novel, Blood's a Rover.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists


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